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How to Tell if You’re Talking to a Local Roofer

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An easy way to find a roofer is by asking for referrals from your colleagues or family. But if the contractor you found is based outside of town, reconsider hiring the company. This is because out-of-town roofers are less likely to be familiar with your local building codes. If you live in an homeowners association (HOA) community, these roofers might not be aware of your HOA’s guidelines, too.  

How to Tell if You're Talking to a Local Roofer

Here are some reasons why it’s better to hire local roofing contractors than out-of-town companies.

Why Work With Local Roofers?

Overall, local roofers are easier to reach, so it would be more advantageous to work with them. Often, they are also more genuinely concerned about roof quality and go above and beyond to add a personal touch to every project they handle. With their expertise, you can be sure your roof is capable of protecting your home against rain, snow, wind and other elements.

Here are other reasons why you should work with local roofers:

Familiarity With Local Building Codes

Local roof repair specialists are aware of and understand the building requirements in your area. You can expect their work to be fully compliant with local building codes. If you work with out-of-town companies, they may overlook these requirements, which can lead to fines or other penalties. 

Quick Response

Out-of-town roofers can’t respond as quickly as local roofers who are based near your residence. In case your property sustains extreme weather damage, you can count on local roofers to show up in just a few hours after putting in a call. 

Furthermore, you can trust that local roofing companies will be there to provide warranty coverage in case you need it. If something goes wrong with your newly installed roof within the warranty period, they will assess and repair your roof at no extra cost. Out-of-town roofers may offer labor warranties, but it’s usually more difficult to reach them during this kind of situation.

Good Reputation

A local roofer wants to take care of their local community, so they have genuine concern about homes in their area and want to help. They wouldn’t want to trick local customers with whom they have professional and personal relationships. Instead, they will want to nurture trust and preserve a good reputation earned by providing top-notch roofing service to the community. Generally, you’ll find it easier to work with local roofers because they’re friendly and approachable.

Local References 

You can easily find references for trustworthy local roofers in your area. Your family and friends may have recommended a roof replacement company to you, but make sure to find out more about the contractor before working with them. You can request the contractor to provide references whom you can ask about the roofer’s work quality, ethic and customer service. 

How to Tell if You’re NOT Working With a Local Roofer

Sometimes, it’s tempting to consider out-of-town roofing companies, especially after a storm when most roofers in your area are busy. However, these out-of-town roofers might not be what you expect them to be, and it’s often difficult to verify their information. They may claim to have manufacturer certification and have produced excellent work for properties in your neighborhood. But unless they can give you proof, it would not be easy to entrust them with your roofing project. They might even urge you to hire them because they offer out-of-town discounts on roofing and other services, but unreasonably low prices could mean they’ll be cutting corners. 

To be on the safe side, avoid out-of-town roofers because they might cause more harm than good. If you need them to fix a roof that’s under their warranty, they might not even be inclined to go back to your area.

Be patient if your local contractors are swamped with work after a storm. Don’t give in to out-of-town roofers and storm chasers; they’re not worth the risk. 

Here are ways to know if you’re talking to a storm chaser or out-of-town roofer who’s just looking for a quick payday:

An Insurer-Sent Roofing Company

Some storm chasers pose as a contractor sent by your insurance company. On one hand, it makes sense; your insurance company sent experts to check your roof. However, even if it sounds believable, confirm this with your insurer first. A quick phone call with your insurance agent will let you know if you should trust the roofers who knocked on your door.

Requests for Advance Payment

Beware of roofers asking for a down payment amounting to more than half of the estimated repair costs for your roof. Some local roofers will ask for a reasonable deposit or an actual cash value (ACV) check before starting to work on your roof. They will likely use this money to purchase the materials they’ll use for the repair or replacement. However, they would never ask for full payment up front because they understand it should only come after the job is finished.

FEMA Endorsement

Keep in mind that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn’t endorse contractors. While it provides aid during disasters, it will not send or endorse roofers to neighborhoods. The agency will explicitly inform local governments and media about its projects in disaster areas to avoid confusion in communities and prevent scammers like storm chasers from taking advantage of the situation.

Pushy Representatives

Storm chasers may bring a representative to discuss your roof’s condition with you. These representatives can be pushy. They may use various tactics and pressure you into hiring them. Some of these strategies involve appealing to your emotions, giving you huge discounts that sound too good to be true or even free deductibles. Beware of companies that offer free deductibles because this is insurance fraud. 

Only trust a local roofer with in-depth roofing knowledge and experience in your community. Neumann Construction has helped around 2,500 homes since we started working on roofs more than a decade ago. We maintain close ties with many HOAs, neighborhoods and homeowners. Call (218) 270-0009, or fill out this contact form to request a consultation. We serve clients in Brainerd, MN, and the surrounding areas.